Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – November 28th 2021 – #Reviews Colleen Chesebro, #Guestpost Marcia Meara, #Christmas Eat Dessert First, #WATWB D.G. Kaye, #MeatFree Carol Taylor

My thanks to Sally for sharing my delicious Cheese and Chard Pie…plus there are reviews from the lovely Colleen, more food with a delicious dessert from Christmas -eat-dessert-first(and) why not? Plus oh yes! there is more…Marcia Mears with another in the Ten Things You May Not Know About Me series.. this week author D. Kilpack shares some interesting and diverse snippets.. and also his books…and Debby with this month’s #WATWB We are the World #Blogfest…so head over to Sally’s with your favourite drink..hot chocolate sounds good…snuggle down and enjoy the read and maybe make a few Christmas purchases.. who doesn’t love a good book in their stocking?

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CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…November 21st-27th 2021…Environmental A-Z, Recipes for “Cheese and Chard Pie”, the Yule Lads, Music and Snow Globes…

My environmental A-Z,  Cheese and Chard Pie with filo pastry  …The Yule Lads, Christmas Music by Bing Crosby and Sir Rod Stewart and more …Oh Yes!, so much more!

I cannot believe we are nearing the end of November …Have you made puddings and cake, pickled your pickles all ready for the festive jolly on the 25th it’s only 27 sleeps…Jeez, that crept up…

Welcome to my weekly roundup...This week last week has bee n a little colder in the mornings and darker but the days have been warmer the chillies are ripening well and the bananas are plenteous so lots of banana milkshakes, banana bread and this week I will be making some banana Appam…

My week started with some Christmas Cocktails…plus Limoncello which is a beautiful addition to many a cocktail…also some homemade Irish Cream and the many variations… all delicious

Christmas Recipes…Naga Vodka Bloody Mary…Cocktails anyone?

Christmas, New year, family and friends get-togethers/reunions so many social occasions where the food and drinks flow and I don’t know about you but Covid has wreaked havoc on my waistline and with the festive season coming up…I need to pace myself otherwise nought will button up come the New Year although if covid and this new strain has its way then there will be no get-togethers again and that also gives rise to snacking as compensation…Either way my waistline needs some help and a few good tips will come in handy…

If you too just need a few tips then head over and have a read on how to balance your eating and plan for social events…

Christmas and Holidays…How to balance your eating…Plan for social events…

It was then time for my bi-weekly post …The Environmental A-Z which this week was the letter V…#Vinyl Chloride, Vapor Intrusion and VOC’S…

A trio of nasties to be honest some of which we can avoid…

The Environmental A-Z…the letter V…#Vinyl Chloride, Vapor Intrusion and VOC’S…

Every Christmas I bring out and update my favourite Christmas posts… The naughty boys and their scary mother are one of them…What fun…We all love to regale our children and grandchildren with tales from Christmas past…most real, some imagined and we all…Come On…Admit it!

We have all stooped to bribery, corruption or just plain tall tales to make the kiddie winks BEHAVE!

Forget boring advent calendars…these 13 naughty boys known as the  “Yule Lads” can wreak some havoc…BUT I love them and they will make enthralling tales for the kids or grandkids…

Head over and join the lads.. Spoon- Licker is tall and thin. He steals unwashed spoons, which he licks clean.  and Door- Slammer well as the name implies…    Slams doors that are kept ajar at night, keeping people awake and their brothers are waiting for you…

The 13 Trolls of Christmas…The Yule Lads!

If you have vegetarians in your family or are like me love a meat-free day or two each week then this delicious pie fits the bill..it is cheesy and flaky…

Meat-eaters and non-meat eaters will just love it!

CarolCooks2…Today’s recipe from my kitchen…Cheese and chard pie with preserved Lemons…

Saturday Snippets… where my muse picks a word prompt for me ..it is fun and informative plus for the next few weeks with be a little festive…Yesterdays word prompt was “Snow”

I know some of you are experiencing the white stuff already some of us are hoping for a “White Christmas” and others of us will be having a warmer Christmas which is not really like the Christmasses I can remember as a child…where we sat in front of a roaring fire and toasted crumpets…drank hot chocolate and as I grew old it morphed into mulled wine…or egg nog…sigh…

Head over and see what else the word “Snow” had a connection with…like the beautiful snow leopard or snow globes, there were some fascinating finds plus music and there has to be music…

Saturday Snippets 27th November 2021…Snow!

Thank you for joining me today I hope you have enjoyed the catchup…I look forward to your comments as always…Have an enjoyable Sunday, stay safe from this new virulent covid strain…I hope you will join me again next week I am always pleased to see you XX

 

 

 

 

Saturday Snippets 27th November 2021…Snow!

 

Welcome back to Saturday Snippets..where I indulge my whimsy and have a play with one word prompts…My muse has answered me and for the next few weeks, I am going to try and use prompts that will incorporate a little festivity into the posts without using the word Christmas… this week after much deliberation my word is…Snow!

Although snow very rarely fell at Christmas where I lived in the Uk we  I always dreamed of a White Christmas and I always envied people who had a white Christmas…

I had to post this version as it was one my father always used to play…

Snow Crab…

Snow crab is named for its meat, which turns from red to snowy white when cooked and boasts a sweet, subtly briny flavour. … The leg meat is known for its rich, sweet flavour and delicately tender texture reminiscent of lobster meat…

Snowdrops…

Were usually one of the first of the bulbs that I looked forward to showing their little faces in the Spring…The white of the snowdrop symbolizes innocence and purity.

Because it is the first flower to bloom at the end of winter and the beginning of spring, it also symbolizes hope.

Just a word of warning…Snowdrops are themselves poisonous. This is due to poisonous alkaloid compounds, which are particularly concentrated in their bulbs. … Though not potent enough to kill, ingesting snowdrop or daffodil bulbs can lead to diarrhoea and vomiting…this mainly happens when the leaves and bulbs are mistaken for spring onions(green onions).

Snow Fungus…

Snow Fungus is an excellent mushroom for health maintenance and in its dried form is a popular ingredient in oriental cuisine, prized for its translucent appearance and crunchy texture.

Much like black fungus, it is fairly bland, however when rehydrated then stewed or boiled it has a crunchy, gelatinous texture that absorbs and holds onto liquids. Cooked by boiling, pan-frying, and sautéing. They are often used in salads and soups for an added, chewy texture and are also mixed with stir-fries at the end of cooking to keep them from falling apart. The gelatinous nature of the mushroom can also be used as a thickener in soups and sauces.

They can also be found dried and canned in speciality Asian stores…

Snow Geese…

Snow geese are strong fliers, capable of speeds of 50 miles per hour. During migration, they fly both by day and night. In fall, they often travel in large flocks with more than 1,000 members. Spring flocks vary in size from a few dozen to a few hundred…to see them migrating is such a spectacular sight…

 

Snow globe…

What kiddie doesn’t love a snow globe? even now I have to give one a shake as I walk by…they range from tiny little snow globes to diamond-encrusted ones which cost a few thousand dollars…

The oldest known description of a snow globe-like object comes from an 1880 U.S. Commissioners report on the 1878 Paris Universal Exposition, where a local glassware company showcased a group of “paperweights of hollow balls filled with water, containing a man with an umbrella.” The objects also contained a white powder that fell “in imitation of a snowstorm” when turned upside down. Such glass-domed paperweights were popular in the late 1800s, but this appears to be the first to include such a playful feature—and it seems to have been the world’s first snow globe.

The world’s largest snow globe made of Lego has been built in London, by the British designer Duncan Titmarsh. It took Titmarsh 120,000 bricks of Lego and 75 days of hard work to create the enchanting piece.

Snow Jelly Frog…

This pricey dessert is made from frogs’ fallopian tubes. That’s part of the thinking behind
hasma, a Chinese delicacy made from the oviducts of the snow frog, a rare species found in the
mountains of northern China. Consuming this gelatinous tissue, also called “snow jelly,” is said
to be good for the complexion…I think I will FORGO THE DESSERT and stick with soap and water
it’s done me well for the last  70  yrs.
Snow Patrol…Rock Band…

Snow Leopard…

A truly magnificent member of the cat family…it is also known as the “ounce”…

There are an estimated 4,080-6,590 snow leopards in the wild, but it is difficult for scientists to know for sure. No longer endangered…they are listed as ‘Vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

But its population in the wild is still at risk because of poaching and habitat loss,  conservationists have warned that the risks are not over for the snow leopards, whose distinctive appearances make them attractive to poachers…

Snow Skin Moon Cake…

Snow skin mooncakes use a cooked glutinous rice flour crust, resulting in a very soft mochi-like
texture …they are also very pretty and come in a variety of colours.
They come with a variety of fillings like a chocolate filling, mochi, ice cream, egg custard, and

fruit. However, some classic ones such as red bean paste and lotus seed paste are still used.

Snow Peas…

The snow pea is an edible-pod pea with flat pods and thin pod walls. It is eaten whole, with both the seeds and the pod, while still unripe…they are lovely just steamed or sauteed in a stir fry or a nice massaman curry a very versatile little vegetable…even raw in a salad…

In terms of their nutrient content, snow peas are packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, potassium, dietary fibre, magnesium, folic acid, and small levels of healthy fats. These pods are also very low in calories, with slightly over 1 calorie per pod.

The Snow Queen…

“The Snow Queen” is an original fairy tale by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. It was first published on 21 December 1844 …Since then there has been many adaptations, films, stage shows and musicals, operas and video games…all depicting good against evil…

Finishing with one of my favourites whatever the season…Rod Stewart.

I hope you have enjoyed the one-word Prompt “Snow”…it proved to be a little easier and hopefully provided a little Xmas cheer…

Thank you for joining me today I look forward to your comments…x

 

CarolCooks2…Today’s recipe from my kitchen…Cheese and chard pie with preserved Lemons…

 

This lovely Pie would make a lovely meat-free pie for Christmas dinner served warm with some lovely fresh vegetables…

Cheese and Chard, pie with Preserved Lemons.

Ingredients:

  • 300 gm ricotta cheese
  • 500 gm chard, remove the stalks and wash well.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ leek, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 finely chopped cloves of garlic
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 slices of preserved lemon, pith and flesh removed then finely sliced
  • A pinch of cumin seeds
  • A pinch of fennel seeds
  • 100 gm bunch of parsley, chervil or any fresh green herb of your choice, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 eggs
  • 300 gm feta cheese
  • 1 whole nutmeg for grating.
  • 270 gm pack filo pastry
  • rapeseed oil, for brushing

Let’s Cook!

Pre-heat the oven 190C/170C fan/Gas 5

Drain the ricotta in a sieve for a few mins to remove the whey…please don’t throw it away(no)pun intended it has so many uses and can also be frozen for later it can also be used in any baking recipe that calls for water (or even milk). …

Thoroughly wash the chard, and in a clean tea towel, dry the chard, then finely slice.

Heat the olive oil in a wok over medium heat, add the leek, onion, garlic, chilli, preserved lemon, cumin and fennel seeds with a big pinch of salt and cook until the leek and onion are softened and fragrant – about 10 mins.

Add the chard, herbs and a good squeeze of lemon juice and season, cook for a few mins until the leaves are wilted but not mushy. Allow to cool, and then squeeze the chard in a sieve to remove any excess moisture.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl until a little frothy and mix in the ricotta and feta. Stir in the greens mixture until well combined and grate over some nutmeg.

Remove the filo from the pack. Brush the inside of a 20 x 9cm deep cake tin with a little rapeseed oil, and lay a sheet of filo in it, smoothing over the base and up the sides with your fingers – it should cover the bottom and reach up to the sides, overhanging the edge.

Brush with more oil to cover the pastry and repeat, laying another sheet to make sure the base is completely covered. Gradually build up the layers, brushing with plenty of oil between sheets, adjusting the positioning of the sheets to get even coverage until the tin is fully lined.

Fill the tin with the cheese and greens mixture and cover with the filo, brushing with oil between layers and on the top. Add herbs between the layers for a pretty touch. Crumple the filo in the middle of the pie for an extra crispy ruffled texture and scatter with a few more fennel seeds.

Bake for 45-50 mins until golden and the filling is set. Allow the pie to cool for at least 20 mins before removing it from the tin.

When cooled completely you can chill in the fridge until it’s ready to serve.

I personally like this pie just warm with some steamed vegetables and roasted tomatoes on the vine…although it is also very nice served chilled with a lovely dressed salad…

Thank you for joining me today in my kitchen hope to see you tomorrow for Saturday Snippets…x

The 13 Trolls of Christmas… aka ” The Yule Lads”!

 

Every Christmas I bring out and update my favourite Christmas posts… The naughty boys and their scary mother are one of them…What fun…We all love to regale our children and grandchildren with tales from Christmas past…most real, some imagined and we all…Come On…Admit it!

We have all stooped to bribery, corruption or just plain tall tales to make the kiddie winks BEHAVE!

Forget boring advent calendars…

Icelandic parents enthral their children (and scare) them into being good with tales of the Ogress living in the Icelandic mountains.

She is one scary Mumma, described as half-troll/animal and the mother of 13 naughty boys known as the  “Yule Lads”. Grýla lives in the mountains with her husband, her thirteen children and a black cat.

And that cat is pretty scary too…

Old Icelandic folklore states that every Icelander must receive a new piece of clothing for Christmas or they will find themselves in mortal danger. An enormous black cat prowls Iceland on Christmas Eve and eats anyone who doesn’t follow this simple rule. This obnoxious feline is known as the Christmas Cat.

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The legend goes that every Christmas, Grýla and her sons come down from the mountains: Grýla in search of naughty children to boil in her cauldron and the boys in search of mischief. She can only capture children who misbehave but those who say sorry must be released.

Wow….that story will get the kiddies hiding under the bed covers.

The husband is not as wicked as her…  but a  bone-idle,  lazy slob.

The boys aka “The Yule” lads are naughty and mischievous and have wonderful names…Oh, what stories you could weave….and what fun you could inject into your stories.

the-icelandic-yule-lads

And what funny names they have.. Spoon- Licker is tall and thin. He steals unwashed spoons, which he licks clean.  and Door- Slammer well as the name implies…    Slams doors that are kept ajar at night, keeping people awake.

Icelandic children place a shoe in their bedroom window each evening in the 13 days before Christmas. Every night one Yuletide lad visits, leaving sweets and small gifts or rotting potatoes(Yuk), depending on how a  child has behaved on that day.

I think It’s much better than a boring advent calendar, just think of the tales you can weave and what fun you and the kids could have and such a cool way to keep the little darlings in check.

How about  Sausage -swiper he hides in the rafters to snatch sausages which are hung up for smoking.

Nothing is safe from these wicked boys…

What tales do you tell your children?

I was really lucky…because my youngest believed in Santa Claus until she was about 13 years old…she was much ridiculed by her peers but stood her ground and insisted that she had seen Santa.

Well, she had….She was 3 yrs old and one of my son’s friends asked if he could ( while dressed) up as Santa take a little present upstairs and put it in Laurens stocking.

He was told by me in no uncertain terms ” Do NOT wake her up”

Well, she did wake up..but the clever boy put his fingers to his lips and told her to shhhhhh and go back to sleep or I can’t leave your presents.

Which she did, from that Christmas onwards for many years she was insistent to all and sundry when they laughed and told her Santa didn’t exist…..That she knew he did because she had seen him…so thank you, Adam.for keeping a little girls dreams alive!

I wish I had known about the 13 trolls though…x

Thank you for joining me today as always I look forward to your comments x

The Environmental A-Z…the letter V…#Vinyl Chloride, Vapor Intrusion and VOC’S…

Welcome to my Environmental A-Z…today it’s the letter V…I have been heartened to hear how many of you feel like I do that we need to take our own steps to avoid pollution and waste wherever we can…especially at this time year when it is at its highest …Let’s all aim for a sustainable Christmas or as near as damn it as possible even one change is a result multiplied…

Abraham Lincoln is correct we need to act now to create the future for our families that we want…but at the moment we can only dream of…

The best way to predict your future is to create it...Abraham Lincoln.

The A-Z of the environment and Climate Change… letter V …

Vinyl Chloride…

Exposure to this colourless gas occurs mainly in the workplace.

Breathing high levels of vinyl chloride for short periods of time can cause dizziness, sleepiness, unconsciousness, and at extremely high levels can cause death. Breathing vinyl chloride for long periods of time can result in permanent liver damage, immune reactions, nerve damage, and liver cancer.

Vinyl chloride is used primarily to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC); PVC is used to make a variety of plastic products, including pipes, wire and cable coatings, and packaging materials. Vinyl chloride is also produced as a combustion product in tobacco smoke.

I don’t smoke my hubby does…HOWEVER he never ever smokes indoors whatever the weather a blizzard could be blowing and if he wanted a fag that badly he goes outside…I am certain that isn’t always the case I have friends who smoke indoors and it stinks…they are houses I don’t visit for that reason we always meet outside somewhere or my house where they smoke outside…

How are people exposed to vinyl chloride?

Workers at facilities where vinyl chloride is produced or used may be exposed primarily through inhalation. The general population may be exposed by inhaling contaminated air or tobacco smoke. In the environment, the highest levels of vinyl chloride are found in the air around factories that produce vinyl products. If a water supply is contaminated, vinyl chloride can enter household air when the water is used for showering, cooking, or laundry.

Jeez, are we safe anywhere apart from a sealed bunker with filtered air…

From Vinyl Chloride we get Polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl) is the most toxic plastic for our health and the environment. For more than 30 years, leading health, environmental justice, and health-impacted organizations across the country and world have been campaigning to phase out this poison plastic.

Fast forward to 2021…All current evidence supports the simple proposition that the use of PVC is problematic and that there are significant health issues at all stages in the lifecycle.
The majority of key components used in the manufacture of PVC are well
recognised for their toxicity and this is an inherent feature of PVC.

Vapor Intrusion…

Vapor-phase migration of volatile organic compounds or volatile inorganic compounds into occupied buildings from underlying contaminated groundwater or soil.

Vapor Intrusion commonly occurs when chemicals or petroleum-based products are spilt on the ground and emit vapors or gases that can rise into households and buildings. Other common products can give off vapor intrusion like gasoline, dry-cleaning solvents, paints, paint thinners, new carpeting, furniture, air fresheners, cleaning products, and dry cleaned clothing.

There are some health concerns when it comes to Vapor Intrusion including: 

  • Eye Irritation
  • Respiratory Irritation
  • Headaches
  • Nausea

The severity of these symptoms will depend on the levels of chemicals found at a site and the length of the exposure. If someone is exposed to these vapors over a long period of time, the risk of cancer or chronic disease will dramatically increase.

Volatile organic compound (VOC)

Molecules containing carbon and differing proportions of other elements such as hydrogen, oxygen, fluorine and chlorine. With sunlight and heat, they form ground-level ozone.

Ground-level ozone is a colourless and highly irritating gas that forms just above the earth’s surface. It is called a “secondary” pollutant because it is produced when two primary pollutants react in sunlight and stagnant air. These two primary pollutants are nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Ozone at ground level is a harmful air pollutant, because of its effects on people and the environment, and it is the main ingredient in “smog.”

Smog is a type of air pollutant; the word “smog” is a combination of smoke and fog. Classic smog results from large amounts of coal burning in an area and is caused by a mixture of smoke and sulfur dioxide. …

An example of smog is a low-lying yellow or brown layer of air. Fog that has become mixed and polluted with smoke. … Ozone, a toxic gas that is not normally produced at lower atmospheric levels, is one of the primary pollutants created in this kind of smog.

Thank you for joining me today and as always I look forward to your comments…x